Reviewing the Free Preview of the digital TV channels.
In a wild attempt to sell more TV services the local cable companies have started a free preview month. This is going all during January. See .

While this gives me a chance to see whether I was right in canceling a number of channels, it hasn’t done much else for me. I used to watch TechTV on a regular basis with shows like The Screen Savers and Call for Help but when the US service was consolidated in Canada as G4TechTV. The channel became largely a gaming channel. nav_01.jpg ¨ I still subscribe to BBC world service (news) because there is nothing that really replaces the level of reporting you get from the BBC. bbc_logo.gif ¨

Once I got past those there are some other interesting channels but it is hard to pay $2.50 a channel for something you watch once or twice a week.

The bigger issues is that most of these ‘specialty’ channels spend a lot of time replaying shows that are also on the main channels. In some cases you can understand the concepts of re-runs or even ‘retro’ shows on specialty channels. But these channels seem to do a repeat of the same episode that was on the main channels a couple of days before. So shows like NCIS show on Tuesday and are repeated on the Mystery channel three days later.

So while the cable company is trying to sell me last weeks TV, a week later, I am still trying to get the most out of my HD-home theatre.

Currently Shaw provides 6 HD channels. 3 Major networks plus PBS. There is also a ‘HD’ Channel, that largely repeats what is on the other 4 channels. The last channel is an HD movie channel which you can only see if you pay for the other 5 non-HD movie channels. None of the Canadian channels broadcasting in HD are available on Shaw. So I would have paid to see the World Junior Hockey in HD, even if it was a Pay per view event.

So a bunch of replays on the high end ‘digital’ TV and not much in HDTV.

I was spoiled by 2 years of a US satellite service (DirectTV). That got me hooked with TechTV but also HBO and Showtime. There were also a number of specialty channels but they had the value of developing original or unique programming.

That is not happening on the Canadian Specialty channels.

So much for Not So Great TV.

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